Two students arrested after Chalmette teacher punched trying to break up fight
ST. BERNARD PARISH, La. (WVUE) - A Chalmette High School teacher is recovering after being punched in the face trying to stop a fight in her class.
The fight broke out Friday afternoon (Sept. 16) and was captured on cell phone widely circulated on social media.
The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrested two 15-year-old students, Sheriff James Pohlmann said. Both students were booked with battery of a school teacher.
Parents say they are appalled at the fight and the fact that a teacher who tried to stop it took a punch to the face.
“It was horrible because the two kids just wouldn’t stop fighting,” said Ruby Espino.
“I think it’s sad. They should’ve taken that outside and she should’ve called security,” said Tim Lannes.
St Bernard’s longtime school superintendent Doris Voitier says she too was stunned by what she saw.
“When I saw the video I was appalled, our teacher shouldn’t be involved in an environment like that and our students should have ways to settle their differences,” she said.
The video raises questions about school security and whether teachers should intervene.
“She’s bruised. Her nose is not broken but she is bruised and I am very upset and we are fully supporting our teacher,” said Voitier.
St. Bernard deputies were on campus Monday as the investigation continued.
“We are proceeding with pressing charges and then the students will also be subject to the disciplinary practices of our school system,” said Voitier.
This is the second major incident at Chalmette High in a week’s time. On Sept. 12, a former student was arrested after school hours for allegedly pulling a gun during a fight on campus.
“We have adults, students, sometimes their anger gets the best of them. I’ve seen behavior that’s more intense than it used to be,” said Voitier.
The school system has two full-time resource officers which some believe is not enough.
“Not really, they need to do more for everybody in the community,” said Espino.
”I told [the teacher] to take some time and make sure she gets fully healed before she comes back,” said Voitier.
Many are relieved the teacher, who has asked not to be identified, wasn’t hurt any worse.
The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office says they are reviewing the video of the incident to determine what the students may be charged with.
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